Welcome! While Liquid Hearth has become a fantastic place to discuss strategy and chat about the latest tournaments on and offline, there has been a lack of lore-related content on the site. Following Mythandier's amazing Legendary Hopefuls series, we decided it was high time to start a team devoted to bringing you up to speed with the lore in the Warcraft franchise. What better way to kick off this new series of articles with a power rank? But first, let's meet our panelists dedicated to retelling the long and storied history of the Warcraft franchise.
- Mythandier is the brilliant mind behind the Legendary Hopefuls series and has come up with some fantastic concepts for cards while bringing readers an insightful and informative look at the characters of the Warcraft franchise yet to hit Hearthstone.
- Celentra is a writer whose work can be seen on Obscureindie.com and is another addition to our fledgling lore team. He brings with him an expansive knowledge base about Warcraft 3 and World of Warcraft.
- I'm Wunder, the leader of this small troupe. I've written for Team Liquid's Starcraft 2 section, covering Proleague and other events, and have now moved over the Liquid Hearth where I will start bringing exciting coverage of events as well as funny and interesting lore articles about popular, and some lesser known, characters.
So with all the talk about Handlocks and Miracle Rogues abound, how do you think the actual characters fare from a lore perspective? Read on and find out in this month's Lore Power Rank!
<h2>The Heroes Lore Power Rank</h2>
<div class="prbox"><div class="prname"><h1>9.</h1><img src="http://www.teamliquid.net/staff/monk/hearthstone/cardicons/Priest_portrait.jpg" alt="[image loading]" class="imgborder">
-</div><div class="prbody">Much like the position the Priest class often finds itself, Anduin has the unfortunate luck of being outclassed by his peers in virtually every way. The teenage son of King Varian Wrynn lacks the overall combat experience and power to make any claim for a position higher in the pecking order. Though he may eventually channel his Divine Spirit to go full Super Saiyan, his current status has him relegated to the lowest position in the ranks.
At the ripe old age of ten, Anduin found himself with the crownon his head after his father disappeared on his way to Theramore. When his father later returned, Anduin was able to sense that Mindgames were afoot and that the returned king was actually an imposter. There were signs that Anduin may have yet to reach his full potential: he was taken captive by the dragon Onyxia since she recognized him as a threat. Fortunately, he was rescued from captivity by a group of heroes including Valeera, Rexxar, and his father who fought and defeated the mighty dragon.
Naturally, Anduin was pressured from a young age to follow in the warrior ways of his father and become a Stormwind Champion. Over time, however, it became apparent to his teachers that he possessed more Inner Fire than Inner Rage. His strong connection to the Light and skill in healing ultimately lead him down the path to priesthood. Though this turn of events was initially not taken well at home, it was greatly encouraged by King Magni of Ironforge who would become one of the young priest's closest friends and allies. After this, Anduin began his study under the High Priest Rohan to increase his priestly prowess.
A few years later, he traveled to Pandaria, where he was captured yet again, this time by the Horde, and managed to escape during the chaos that ensued at the battle that destroyed the Serpent’s Heart. He then began to work as an diplomatic emissary for the Alliance with multiple factions: he assisted the night elves to understand the mysteries within Vale of Eternal Blossoms; he helped the August Celestials open the gates to the Vale of Eternal Blossoms; and he aided the refugees of Kun-Lai Summit find a safe haven. During his last diplomatic mission, he was grievously injured after Garrosh shattered the Divine Bell and collapsed it on the young prince. Since Anduin lacks the ability to Greater Heal it’s taking a considerable amount of time to recover from these wounds.
Anduin remains an instrumental figure in the Alliance’s future and may one day fulfill the potential that many see within him. Despite the Priest’s ability to control enemy minions, Anduin seems to instead have the ability to be captured himself. As a result, rather than live up to his potential, it’s just as likely that he’ll get kidnapped again and need to be rescued by someone higher up on this list.
<div class="prbox"><div class="prname"><h1>8.</h1><img src="http://www.teamliquid.net/staff/monk/hearthstone/cardicons/Rogue_portrait.jpg" alt="[image loading]" class="imgborder">
Valeera Sanguinar is the lovable Rogue hero in Hearthstone, but she's got a lot more to her than a 1/2 dagger. Valeera was a companion to Varian Wrynn, Anduin's father and King of Stormwind. This dates back to when the two of them, alongside a night elf druid by the name of Broll Bearmantle, were gladiators. This life, however, was not by their own choice: Varian had amnesia and Valeera's family had been killed by bandits at an early age forcing her to become a theif.
One item she happened to steal was a scroll mentioning her ancestor Relfthra, a high elf, or quel'dorei. He was also a mage and a member of the secret Council of Tirisfal, an order formed by powerful high elves to safeguard Azeroth from demons: Kathra'Natir being one of them. Perhaps influenced by this new knowledge, Valeera attempted to steal a shamanic talisman but was caught. In the process of being caught and jailed, she fought off and injured several guards and was sold as a slave to Rehgar Earthfury before her planned escape.
She found herself in a gladiatorial team combat with Broll Bearmantle and Bloodeye Redfist. Redfist would later die and be replaced by an amnesic Varian, named Lo'Gosh due to his memory loss. After many bloody battles, Valeera would escape via wyvern following her sale to another master by the name of Helka Grimtotem. Broll and Varian also would later escape from Rehgar as well. Once Valeera had escaped, she went searching for her companions, Broll and Lo’Gosh (Varian). It wasn’t long before she found them; but while trailing them, she found that a Stealthed assassin was doing the very same.
After subduing the assassin trailing the two men, she would meet Aegwynn, mother of Medivh and Guardian of Tirisfal. Valeera had a bout of Mana Addiction upon absorbing arcane energies from a Naga sea witch's trident. Her addiction grew exponentially worse after being inflicted by the mark of Kathra'Natir which was placed upon her by a warlock assassin after Varian. It was a vision of Aegwynn that helped her recover from her addiction, and later Med'an and Meryl Felstorm would remove the mark from her as well. Valeera would eventually become the enforcer for the New Council of Tirisfal.
She is a Blood Elf, racially, and identifies culturally as one as well. Despite this and her companionship with Broll and Varian, she does not align herself with the Horde or the Alliance, and acts independently of the Thalassian (Blood Elf) government.
"My loyalties are personal - to King Varian and his son!" <p align="right"><em>-Celentra</em></p></div></div>
<div class="prbox"><div class="prname"><h1>7.</h1><img src="http://www.teamliquid.net/staff/monk/hearthstone/cardicons/Paladin_portrait.jpg" alt="[image loading]" class="imgborder">
-</div><div class="prbody">Uther was one of the most notable paladins and accomplished a great deal during his life: he created the Knights of the Silver Hand -- which is where Silver Hand Knight and the Silver Hand Recruits come from -- with his mentor Archibishop Faol. His greatest exploits were during the Second War where he helped stymie Orgrim Doomhammer’s invasion against Lordaeron, as well as being a part of the final battles at Blackrock Spire and the closing of the Dark Portal. Unlike other notable Paladins such as Turalyon and Tirion, Uther acted as more of a judicator and mediator rather than a knight. While all Paladins straddle the line between healer and warrior, Uther ended up doing clerical duties after the Second War, perhaps due to the loss of many of his close friends and allies.
Fans of the Warcraft franchise will best remember him as the mentor of Arthas Menethil though, and that is his most noted achievement since the end of the Second War. Most will remember the mission where Uther is first introduced. Arthas assists the Lightbringer in defending a town against raiding Orcs. Not only was this the rumblings of the Third War’s beginning, but it was the first time we see Arthas’ hatred toward those that oppose him as well as threaten his people. Uther wasn’t quite as involved with Arthas after that, showing up in the climactic moments of the Battle of Hearthglen, when Arthas had been bested by the Scourge and would have perished if it wasn’t for Uther and his Silver Hand Knights.
Instead of showing Humility, however, Arthas flew into a rage and set off a chain of events that would change Lordaeron forever. Chasing the Dreadlord Mal’ganis to the city of Stratholme, Arthas -- along with Uther and Jaina -- ordered the cleansing of the entire city’s population, as they’d been infected with the Plague. Uther, a devout Paladin and upholder of justice, was stunned and horrified and couldn’t bring himself to do it. Arthas being the heir to the throne, charged Uther with treason and disbanded the order of the Silver Hand.
After those horrific events, Uther became distraught at the loss of his pupil and his failure as a mentor and Paladin. It was only when Arthas came back to the kingdom of Lordaeron that Uther realized that he had been completely changed and was no longer the wide-eyed Arthas that was brimming with energy and enthusiasm. After committing patricide and setting fire to the kingdom of Lordaeron, he heard his former mentor was holding on to a magical urn, which was required to revive Kel’Thuzad, Arthas' new advisor. After cutting a swathe through the remnants of the Knights of the Silver Hand, Uther was all that stood between Arthas and the urn. Uther didn’t stand a chance against the undead Prince and the Scourge. After a lengthy battle, Uther was slain by his former pupil. With that Noble Sacrifice, Uther will be forever remembered by the Alliance as a great Paladin and even greater defender of Truth. Even now, he is memorialized both in Stormwind and in his tomb in the Western Plaguelands, in what once was the outskirts of the City of Lordaeron.
<div class="prbox"><div class="prname"><h1>6.</h1><img src="http://www.teamliquid.net/staff/monk/hearthstone/cardicons/Hunter_portrait.jpg" alt="[image loading]" class="imgborder">
-</div><div class="prbody">Although Rexxar hasn’t been in the spotlight much, he’s managed to accomplish a great number of deeds as one of the few to ever earn the title Champion of the Horde. Although he falls pretty far down the list, his prowess in battle, raw power, and ability to call upon beasts to his aid should never be underestimated. Rexxar would perhaps be higher up on this list if not for his penchant for being a lone wolf.
Contrary to the aggressive nature of the Hearthstone Hunter, Rexxar hails from the peaceful Mok'Nathal clan from Draenor. Against his father’s wishes, he felt compelled to join the Horde and leave through the Dark Portal. During this time, Rexxar fought alongside the likes of Grom Hellscream and Ner’zhul in many fierce battles. He eventually grew weary, however, of the traitorous nature of the orcs. The final straw finally came when his loyal wolf companion, Haratha, had her life drained by an orc warlock while protecting Rexxar from a surprise attack. After that, he made up his mind to leave and find his own path.
Through his solitary journey in the wilderness he utilized his Tracking skills to come upon an Animal Companion named Misha. Together, they would travel the lands and assist many heroes including: Thrall, Drek’Thar, Chen Stormstout, Rokhan, Vol’jin, Cairne and Baine Bloodhoof, Bovan Windtotem, and Jaina Proudmoore.
During these adventures, Rexxar proved instrumental in Sniping a number of powerful foes including, but not limited to: the Harpy Queen Bloodfeather, the Sea King, Lady Darkscale, the Skeleton King Lord Talendar, the Eldritch Deathlord, Destroyer Zardikar, Sinstralis of the Pain, Talnivarr the Sleeper, and the dragon Onyxia.
Rexxar also proved his worth by rescuing Baine Bloodhoof from a group of powerful centaurs. This act was instrumental in enlisting the powerful Cairne Bloodhoof and his people to the Horde. He then went on to duel and defeat the Stonemaul Ogre chieftain Kor’gall to assume the role of leader the clan of ogres convincing them to join the Horde as well. In recognition for his deeds, Thrall named Rexxar the Champion of the Horde.
The position of Champion afforded him the opportunity of leading the Horde against Admiral Proudmoore's forces in a fierce battle. During the battle, Rexxar squared off against the Admiral in single combat where he slew the human with a Deadly Shot. Though he emerged victorious, Rexxar realized that his true place was in the wild and left to once again wander the wilderness with his Beast companions by his side. Like most who fall victim to Misdirection in their youth, he continues to wander to this day with the ultimate goal of repairing his relationship with his father. Suffice it to say, this Hunter has definitely left his Mark.
<div class="prbox"><div class="prname"><h1>5.</h1><img src="http://www.teamliquid.net/staff/monk/hearthstone/cardicons/Mage_portrait.jpg" alt="[image loading]" class="imgborder">
-</div><div class="prbody">Jaina Proudmoore is the Mage hero of Hearthstone, but she is also the leader of the Kirin Tor, ruler of Dalaran, and Princess of Kul Tiras. Jaina was taught by Antonidas, and served as his personal agent in the Kirin Tor. She is also a highly trusted sorceress of Dalaran. It was under Antonidas' orders that she came to witness firsthand the fall of Lordaeron while investigating the plague with Prince Arthas Menethil, who would later rise to become the Lich King.
After she helped to defeat Archimonde and the Burning Legion in the events of Warcraft 3, she founded a small city: the port city of Theramore Isle. This city would come to serve as a valuable forward outpost for the Alliance. After the defeat of Deathwing, Jaina would lose her position as Ruler of Theramore. Under Garrosh's orders, the Horde Charged and destroyed Theramore Isle. With the fall of Theramore, a seed of doubt and distrust was planted in Jaina, thanks in no small part to Garrosh's actions.
By the time of Mists of Panderia, Jaina is only 33 years old. Even at such a relatively young age, she is regarded as the most powerful human sorceress on Azeroth, though not the strongest in history. During the events of Wrath of the Lich King, Jaina's new romance started. Kalecgos was a member of the Blue Dragonflight, and was Malygos' investigator, yet opposed him in his war with the mortal mages. In this way, Kalecgos would ally himself with Alexstrasza and the Wyrmrest Accord. During Cataclysm, with the rise of Deathwing, Kalecgos would be named the new Aspect of Magic, after Malygos' death in Wrath of the Lich King. Often, he disguises himself as Kalec, a half-elf. After the fall of Deathwing, he joined the Kirin Tor, resides in Dalaran, and pursues a mutual relationship with the leader of both.
<div class="prbox"><div class="prname"><h1>4.</h1><img src="http://www.teamliquid.net/staff/monk/hearthstone/cardicons/Warrior_portrait.jpg" alt="[image loading]" class="imgborder">
While the Warrior class of Hearthstone may be known for both aggro and control decks, Garrosh was neither when Thrall first found him in Nagrand. Garrosh was a timid, pessimistic, and even depressed Mag’har Orc. He thought that after Grom had drank the demon Mannoroth’s blood that his father had cursed the Orc Horde and destroyed what was once a great race. It was not until Thrall told Garrosh of his father’s heroic fight against the Pitlord himself that he slowly gained self confidence: maybe a little too much confidence.
After being taken under Thrall’s wing, Garrosh grew both in strength and pride. With his notions of his father's past shattered, he began his new life as one of the Horde’s strongest warriors. He was savage and brutal on the battlefield. Wielding Fiery War Axes -- and later his father’s Gorehowl -- he had no issues Slamming his way to absolute victory. He remained dominant on the frontlines, whenever Thrall attempted to bring him into politics and groom him to be a successor, he bristled at any interaction with Alliance pigs. He regarded humans as trash that should be stamped out, and despised them for what they did to his father.
Although Thrall and Garrosh disagreed and even clashed at times, it was a set of unfortunate circumstances that forced Thrall’s hand and Garrosh was made Warchief of the Horde. His arrogant personality didn’t improve with the new found responsibility; in fact, it heightened tensions between Alliance and Horde even further. While there was always an uneasy peace between the two factions, Garrosh pushed it to the breaking point and past it to the point of near irreparability. His actions against the Alliance included but were not limited to: the destruction of Theramore Isle and murder of Rhonin, attempted murder of Prince Anduin Wrynn, and defilement of the Vale of Eternal Blossoms, which in turn released the power of the dormant heart of the Old God Y’Shaarj.
Garrosh is currently awaiting trial after his defeat by both the Alliance and Horde adventurers. While one would have hoped his misadventures ended with the Mists of Pandaria expansion, it has been revealed that he is the link to the yet unreleased expansion, Warlords of Draenor, which will explore Draenor before it was torn apart and became the Outlands
<div class="prbox"><div class="prname"><h1>3.</h1><img src="http://www.teamliquid.net/staff/monk/hearthstone/cardicons/Druid_portrait.jpg" alt="[image loading]" class="imgborder">
-</div><div class="prbody">Malfurion Stormrage is the Druid of Hearthstone. Just like his flexible nature in Hearthstone, Malfurion himself is much the same. Malfurion is not just any druid, but rather, the very first druid among the night elves. He was also responsible for spreading druidism through his people under the tutelage of his mentor: the demigod Cenarius.
Malfurion is at least ten millenia old and was a disciple of Cenarius before becoming the world's greatest archdruid following the War of the Ancients. The War of the Ancients was a war brought about by the Highborne, or high elves, when they drew the attention of the Burning Legion. The Highborne which allied with the Legion and survived would later become the Naga.
He is also the husband of Tyrande Whisperwind, the High Priestess of Elune. Together they are the leaders of the Night Elf government. It was also following this war that the night elves sailed to the land that would come to be known as Kalimdor. During this time, Malfurion's twin brother, Illidan Stormrage, was sealed beneath Hyjal. Following this imprisonment, Malfurion -- with the help of Ysera, Nozdormu, and Alexstrasza -- created the World Tree Nordrassil. Alexstrasza grew the tree from an enchanted acorn. Nozdormu returned the night elves' longevity; so long as the tree stood, they would never die of age or sickness. Finally, Ysera would rebuild the world through the Emerald Dream, linking it and the World Tree. To sustain it, however, the druids would need to sleep for hundreds of years at a time: linked forever with the Dream. The druids were roused numerous times in the millenia of their history but this is the reason why Malfurion is asleep until the defeat of the Lich King in WoW. The Emerald Dream is essential to the druids as it grants them the power they wield over the Force of Nature. It’s also believed to give the druids a greater appreciation for nature’s glories.
Malfurion is often called "Shan'do" or "Honored Teacher" in Darnassian, the language of the Night Elves. This is, as one would imagine, a sign of respect towards the Archdruid. The antlers upon his head are seen as a sign of a high degree of potential in the druidic way. Most night elves that possess antlers are born with them, like the night elf companion of Valeera and Varian, Broll Bearmantle. Malfurion, however, grew his antlers at a later point in life.
<div class="prbox"><div class="prname"><h1>2.</h1><img src="http://www.teamliquid.net/staff/monk/hearthstone/cardicons/Shaman_portrait.jpg" alt="[image loading]" class="imgborder">
-</div><div class="prbody">Probably one of the greatest characters in the Warcraft franchise, Thrall represents the quintessential Shaman. While Gul’dan betrayed the Horde and spread Corruption and dissension among the ranks, creating the first Orc Warlocks, Thrall holds true to the Shamanistic roots of the Orcs before him and he holds in his hand the powers of the Earth, Wind, Fire and Water. With the four elements, so too come the rocky trials and tribulations, the winds of uncertainty, the uncontrollable rage, and the shifting tides of war. Thrall has faced incredible adversity as the son of Durotan and the former Warchief of the current Horde. He is the most accomplished Orc currently alive.
Thrall had a simple beginning, he was raised as a gladiator by an abusive human named Aedalas Blackmoore. He managed to escape thanks to a daughter of a midwife named Taretha but was captured and placed in an internment camp. It was there that he learned of the true history of his ancestors, of the corruption that Gul’dan spread, the bloodlust which affected the Orcs, and the lethargy that plagued them. After escaping the camp, he vowed to reunite the Orcs once again and reforge them into a better, stronger Horde.
He sought out Grom Hellscream and Drek’Thar while being schooled in the ways of a Farseer and Shaman. From that moment on, he became obsessed with reuniting the Horde clans of old. After meeting the legendary Orgrim Doomhammer, he was appointed second-in-command and they began to liberate the Horde. This was the start of Thrall's journey, as they started to liberate internment camp after internment camp. During the liberation of the fifth camp, which was heavily guarded and prepared, Doomhammer fell. In his dying breath he named Thrall the next Warchief of the Horde and gave him the eponymous warhammer to the young warchief. Wielding Doomhammer, Thrall rose and became the Warchief the Horde needed, liberating the rest of the Orcs and sailing to Kalimdor, a new and promised land.
Once there, he established Orgrimmar, in the memory of the Warchief who gave him the final push he needed and also established an uneasy peace with the Alliance. He made friends with Malfurion Stormrage of the Night Elves and Jaina Proudmoore from Theramore Isle. He also lost friends, such as Grom Hellscream, while fighting the demon Pitlord Mannoroth to cure the Orcs of their bloodthirst. He lost his closest advisor and friend, Cairne Bloodhoof, to the crafty Magatha and an enraged Garrosh. Thrall has seen triumph and the rise of a new Horde, but also the defeat and loss of loved ones.
After the Cataclysm and the Sundering, Thrall decided to step down as Warchief of the Horde and he passed on the mantle to his successor and son of Grom, Garrosh Hellscream, an act he no doubt regrets. He journeyed to the Maelstrom to calm the elements together with the Earthern Ring and the Dragon Aspects. Thrall played a critical role in helping to thwart the plans of the Twilight’s Hammer and the prophecy of the Hour of Twilight. After all his accomplishments, however, Thrall continues to work to mend the world and has kept the name given to him by Blackmoore as a representation of what he tries to achieve in Azeroth. Thrall has burdened himself with the greatest responsibilities of steadying the earth, calming the winds, satiating the fires, and stilling the waters.
<div class="prbox"><div class="prname"><h1>1.</h1><img src="http://www.teamliquid.net/staff/monk/hearthstone/cardicons/Warlock_portrait.jpg" alt="[image loading]" class="imgborder">
-</div><div class="prbody">While the Warlock class has had its ups and downs over the last few months, there’s one fact that’s remained consistent for a really, really long time: the orc Warlock Gul’dan is one of the most powerful mortals to ever exist. Known for his insatiable lust for Power Overwhelming, Gul’dan possessed a level of cunning never before seen in the orc ranks. Gul’dan was one of the primary antagonists in the original Warcraft games and his legacy has shaped the Warcraft universe ever since.
Gul’dan was originally a Shaman and demonstrated an amazing capacity to harness the power of the elements. In this role, he found himself as an apprentice to Ner'zhul, whom you might better recognize as the eventual Lich King. Gul’dan, like the rest of us, eventually realized that being a Warlock results in far more victories than being a Shaman. As such, he continued down his path to Corruption and formed a sort of Sacrificial Pact with the eredar lord, Kil’jaeden, to become the first true orc Warlock. To complete the bargain, Gul'dan went on to offer the clan chieftains the Blood of Mannoroth, turning them into evil, Frothing Berserkers: they were the new avatars of their demonic masters.
With the Horde established, the Warlock would begin his quest for power. He was contacted by Medivh who tempted Gul’dan with the power of the gods, hidden under the ocean within the Tomb of Sargeras if he would use the Horde to conquer Azeroth. Gul'dan was quick to agree and used an endless supply of
Once he awoke, he manipulated the new warchief, Orgrim Doomhammer into letting him live. As part of this deal, Gul'dan was to create an army of undead soldiers. Always willing to sacrifice his minions, he ritually murdered his remaining followers -- except for Cho’gall -- so that he could create souls gems to power his undead creations. Once this Siphon Soul ceremony was carried out, he raised the slain Knights of Stormwind and thus created the first incarnation of Death Knights.
As often happens, Gul'dan's thirst for power proved to be the Horde's undoing. After managing to locate the Tomb of Sargeras, Gul'dan was greeted by a swarm of demons who overwhelmed him. Ultimately, what perhaps cements Gul'dan's status as the most powerful of our Hearthstone Heroes is that after he died, his skull remained a source of considerable power. A true master of darkness, his influence continues to make an impact long after death.
Writers: Mythandier, Celentra and Wunder</div>
Editors: flamewheel, Hayl_Storm, and monk.
Editors: flamewheel, Hayl_Storm, and monk.